I’ll be honest, chocolate cake has never been my favorite. But after pushing carrot cake and lemon raspberry cupcakes on my kids at birthdays 1 and 2, I gave in and made chocolate cupcakes for my son’s 3rd birthday after seeing him lose his mind over a chocolate Seahawks Trophy cupcake the weekend earlier.
Sidebar: Have you ever bought a Trophy cupcake? They’re good. They’re also a million dollars. Each! You’re like let’s see, I invited all the aunts and uncles and cousins, and our neighbors on each side, so there will be about 24 people at the party, I’m going to need two dozen cupcakes, so that’ll be $24 million dollars. (Cancels party.)
Which is weird, because chocolate cupcakes are the cheapest and most basic thing on earth to make. I haven’t calculated exactly what I spent on these cupcakes, but it was definitely under $24 million.
To balance out the chocolate I topped these with cream cheese frosting. I top everything with cream cheese frosting. If it’s not cream cheese frosting, I fail to see the point. I kept it on the sweeter end for the kids, and if the way they licked the frosting off the tops is any indicator, I think it turned out perfectly.
P.S. If you want your cupcakes to look like they came from Trophy cupcake, you need to buy this incredible and super cheap tool. Along with the ability to draw a spiral, it’s all you need to make perfect looking cupcakes. You’ll have to loudly announce that the cupcakes were homemade, otherwise when people see them they will assume you’re just rich and bought your cupcakes somewhere fancy.
Chocolate Cupcake Batter
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups water
Using your stand mixer, mix all dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients and mix until evenly incorporated. Pour into lined muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 packages cream cheese
- 1 and a half sticks butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
Cream room temperature cream cheese and butter together in your stand mixer. Add vanilla. Then slowly incorporate powdered sugar.
If you want a tarter frosting, use 1 stick butter and 2-3 cups powdered sugar. If you want a more buttery frosting with just s hint of the cream cheese, use 2 sticks butter and 5 cups powdered sugar.
Makes enough frosting to very generously top 24 cupcakes using the open star tip of your frosting gun. Pro Tip: Double check that your cupcakes aren’t too tall before plopping the second layer of your cupcake carrier on top after slaving away on perfect cupcakes to take to your kid’s preschool.